How To: Prep for Your Headshot Session

It’s that time again, with a new year comes a lot of new resolutions.  Based on the number of sessions I’ve booked lately it’s safe to assume that a lot of people are resolving to update their professional brand images.  But, when having a professional portrait taken, it’s important to remember that a little advanced preparation can make a huge difference in the final product. I recommend that the week before your shoot, or sooner, you start planning. Decide which beautification steps you will take, choose your outfit and schedule any necessary appointments.

Model applying makeup

Image by Capio Creative Co. from Desiree’s Beautycounter Branding Session

Here are the tips that I share with my clients to help them prepare for their session.

~Don’t pick, a pimple is very easy to cover with makeup or in post processing, but scabs, wounds and flaky patches are more tricky.

~Whiten teeth, Crest sells white-strips that whiten in a week or less for a quick whiteness boost.

~Wax eyebrows, if you decide to have your eyebrows waxed or threaded, be sure to schedule the appointment for at least a few days before your photoshoot. Otherwise, an eyebrow trim/touch up at home could be done a day or two before the shoot. Note to the men, do not wax your eyebrows unless it is something you already do, if it’s necessary just pluck the strays a few days before your shoot.

~Exfoliate your face. A nice, soothing session using a grainy scrub or gently rubbing your skin with a washcloth on your face and body will produce a radiant glow. Plan to exfoliate a couple times before your appointment, but be sure to allow a few days between ‘treatments’, as well as a couple days after the last one before your shoot.

~If you choose to do your make-up yourself, try to avoid a lot of shimmery or glittery make-up, it does not photograph well, stick to matte finishes. Visit our Pinterest page for make-up tips and advice from my favorite make-up artists.

~Touch up your roots, if you dye your hair, touching up your regrowth three days before your photoshoot is ideal. This is not the time for drastic changes. Get a trim, neat, healthy hair is youthful and vibrant.

~If you usually have a faux glow, get a spray tan a couple days before your shoot. If you don’t usually tan, skip it.

Image by Capio Creative Co. from The Funky Zebras Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

~Choose outfits you love and that match the overall message you want to communicate. Your choices should hug your curves, especially your waist, hips, arms, and chest. Also, consider necklines, be cautious of anything low cut, off the shoulder or boat neck style shirts and blouses. Avoid patterns and prints as they are distracting. We want people to look at you when they see your portrait, and even the most beautiful print will steal that attention.

~Stick to minimal jewelry, if you usually wear a lot of jewelry then pick one statement piece that complements your wardrobe. Try to avoid a lot of big chunky pieces, less is more.



These tips are here to help you think of ways to prepare for your shoot, they are definitely NOT required, or even necessary for everybody. Just choose what fits in your budget, lifestyle, current beauty regimen and go from there.

Ready to setup a session, contact me or check out my portfolio portfolio to see more of my work. |